My name is Jonathan.  I have been in abstinence based recovery since October of 2013.

I started experimenting with alcohol and marijuana when I was 14 years old. By age 17 I was regularly using cocaine, LSD and various other “party drugs”. At 21 I was injecting heroin and cocaine and stealing to support my habit. My relationships were falling apart, I dropped out of college and eventually ended up in jail for crimes I committed to support my addiction. I was released on bond on the condition that I immediately entered residential treatment.  While in treatment I was introduced to a recovery community of people that I could relate with. Many of them were in long term abstinence based recovery from opiate addiction. It was in this community that I first felt truly at home and discovered that there was hope for people like me. I began to regularly attend 12 step meetings, got a sponsor and began to work the steps but I was not honest with myself, open to new ideas or willing to put in the work it takes to achieve sobriety and as a result I relapsed and was sent to prison.

I struggled with my addiction for the next ten years and spent the majority of a decade in hospitals from overdosing, treatment, jail or prison. Three years into my second stretch in prison I finally surrendered and made a decision to stop trying to “run the show”.  I reached out to my sponsor, began working the steps and got honest with myself and others. Upon my release from prison I let my recovery support network carry me through the rocky transition back into the “real world”.

Today I am a BSW student at Eastern Michigan University.  I am the father of a beautiful baby girl. I own a home and actually pay my bills on time.  I have healthy relationships and a supportive partner who is also in recovery. I work at the treatment center that introduced me to recovery and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I am able to be of service and have the privilege of spreading hope to people struggling in the same way that I did.  I go to sleep each night grateful instead of suicidal. I wake up each morning with hope instead of in fear. We do recover.